Weird Wednesday

Today I’m just taking a quick break from a very busy day. You who have had a puppy and wear glasses might have had the pup knock into your face while your specs are on. Throws them out of whack for sure. The day started with a trip to the optical company we do business at. They did the adjustment in a short time. Then on to Mom’s house.

She was ready but we still hung out for a little bit. She had to mail bills and go to the bank for some cash. It’s funny, she refuses to use her DEBIT card at an ATM. She writes a check and cashes it at a teller in the bank. She refuses the drive through lane. “The only banking that should ever take place is face to face, in the institution.” I find it funny. All you can do is allow enough time for her to get out, walk inside, and stand in line. She is so hard of hearing she and has limited vision, so it’s hard. She insists on going in alone. The days of the banker who could call you by name are long gone. I did get to experience that from Packers National Bank, Laddie Kozeny. He was a wonderful man, and knew my parents.

We went to the Omaha World Herald B-62 Luncheon. It is for retirees. She did not work there, but my father did from 1952 – 1988, and my older brother did for another thirty some years. Mom still attends as she is included in the group. Nice, nice people.

Tom Shatel, a sports columnist for the OWH was the speaker today. I read his column from time to time, and it was nice to hear his talk. He spent a time on Scott Frost, Nebraska Football, and Creighton/Nebraska volleyball. All worthy subjects and he did a great job. One thing he did discuss was the Omaha Press Club, which may open up and accept membership from other than newspaper, radio, and television news. By today’s standard, this is a daily column. I wonder if I could apply?? More on that later. It could be fun.

This week is half over and my gosh! I need to get some big stuff finished up this week. Having a puppy in the house means we need to clean the carpeting before I put up the tree. I will feel better with a fresh carpet. Then decorate. There are so many things to decorate with, I will have fun doing it. And today, I received a new nutcracker in the mail. It’s a fun one. The other six I have are from the 1980’s when Shopko sold them for $10 or so, when you spent so much on gifts. So, I did. They were quite nice. Hope Goldie leaves them alone.

Hope we meet again tomorrow. I’ll be here, will you? I hope so. Thank you.

Groceries, Doctor, and more!

How was your Monday?? Ours was a little crazy, I’m hoping Tuesday is a little more laid back. (It wasn’t!) Dan’s nurse came yesterday, and I misunderstood so the cleaning lady came too, instead of today. It worked out. Goldie needed to go to the Vet, and Dan to the Post to do some work. We loaded up Goldie in her kennel, and took off to let him do payroll at the Post, we went to Blair with Goldie to see the vet. He prescribed a couple of medications for her, and a special food that is supposed to change the environment of the GI tract. It’s all about medicine and science nowadays. Still hoping Goldie will get over this quickly and not have issues anymore. We kind of need a break!

We picked up Addison from school, stopped for late lunch, and were going to stop to buy the Thanksgiving fixings. Until we saw the line of cars lined up to turn into Walmart in Gretna. And decided to go this morning instead. Dan sees his doctor, so we will go right after that.

Today’s visit to the surgeon is to check on the amount of healing the wound vac has accomplished and determine how much long it’s needed. I know the Babe is tired of not driving. He is taking pain pills when the surgery site is dealt with. He is not supposed to drive while on those pills. I can tell they change his thinking and reaction time. It isn’t safe. I can’t blame him for being antsy, he’s been pretty patient thus far. It’s going to be over soon, I hope, for his sake. He deserves to feel better.

We have sort of laughed sometimes about “what else can go wrong?” Remember my son’s apartment going up in flames before his birthday in October?? He is doing ok, got his insurance settlement, and is getting settled in the new place. Until the car broke down. Just out of warranty, the catalytic converter went out. A big chunk of cash to fix that baby. What rotten luck! He deserves for things to go better for him, too.

Breaking News!!!! Dan has been removed from the wound vac!! He’s happy about that. And he can drive again. Glad to be rid of that huge, gaping wound on his groin. He still knows it’s there, and the skin can recover from the clear tape that has held him together the past month or so. Whew!! Now, I’m going to wonder what to do with all my spare time. HAH!!

NaNoWriMo is still on my horizon for finishing Saturday. I was a bit short Monday, because I wasn’t able to start writing until 6 p.m. It’s very doable. I need 2,972 words for today. I’d like to add another 765 to that to make up for being short yesterday. Don’t forget!! I’m drawing for a $50 Visa Gift Card giveaway on Sunday, December 1, 2019, at NOON. You can get two entries a day, just like my post, and leave a comment. It won’t hurt a bit.

I thank you so very much for reading my post today. I received a very nice message from our grandson Joell. He loved being featured in yesterday’s blog. I tell you, that boy is going to the Olympics as a swimmer! He will make Mark Spitz (1972) look like a slacker. Michael Phillips, too. Thank you so much, I’m hoping you’ll come back tomorrow. Lots to talk about the next few days.

Happy Birthday, Joell!

Today is a very special day in our family. Our oldest grandson, Joell, turns twelve today. It is so hard to believe! He is in sixth grade, which is middle school where he lives in Maryland. We visited in May, 2019, and were present for his Promotion Ceremony from elementary school to middle chool. He has attended a Spanish Immersion program since first grade, and the school is pretty amazing. He will continue the SI program until he graduates from high school, I believe. His mother’s family is Puerto Rican, so it is good that he can practice the language with his mother and some relatives.

No More Elementary School for This Guy.

I hope Joell realizes how special he is to us. We talk about you a lot at our home. We are getting better at texting you and communicating since you now have a phone # of your very own. We love you for a lot of reasons, one being your big heart, so full of love.

You have been taught to share from a young age. Sometimes, when we have been visiting you for Thanksgiving/your birthday, we have seen your parents take boxes of hot meals they have shared from our dinner table to downtown Washington DC and you have helped give them away to the homeless. You were with your Mama on Thursdays to deliver Meals on Wheels. You saw many older people who were lonely and couldn’t afford nourishing meals. You and your mama took food to them and visited them. You helped them be less lonely. You think about other peoples’ feelings. You are a generous young man. I remember when you, your parents, cousin Addison, Grandpa and me, and Shucks from South Dakota went to Puerto Rico.

You were happy to show cousin Addison the places your family loves in Old San Juan. You and Addison posed for photos at the ruins there, and flew kites as your mama did as a little girl when she visited her Grandma who still lived there. And when you and Addison came upon the man who sold ice cream from a cart on the street, you pulled out your wallet so you could treat your cousin. What a generous soul!

Through the years, we have seen you have parties with your school friends, and were happy with all the good friends you have made. You will continue to be a good friend to many people who will continue to meet and get to know. It’s part of a balanced life. Your parents have taken great pride in making sure you learned from an early age about the important things. Family. Friends. Faith.

Last Day of Safety Patrol, May, 2019

You are an accomplished world traveler! You have been many, many more places than some adults have been in your life. You and your family were in Hawaii for a couple of Christmas’, have traveled to Europe and seen good and bad parts of world history. The beauty of Rome and the horror of Auschwitz have made impressions in your young mind. You are curious about things like this, and make it a point to learn the lessons the world needs to learn about such events. You have learned about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad and saw where many of the slaves crossed into Canada. Your experiences have been very rich, thanks to your parents. What a lucky young man!

At the Vietnam Wall, Summer, 2019. You are helping your Grandpa heal.

Your dad took this photograph at you and Grandpa at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC, his summer. It is a perfect reflection of the two of you, a first and third generation of males of this family, and signifies your importance in Grandpa’s heart, and mine too. You can learn about Grandpa by knowing what experiences he has had in life, just as we learn about you by going to swim classes and competitions with you. You are an incredible swimmer! It’s something I never learned because I was too scared. You have mastered something that is a real accomplishment.

One day, we hope we can all go on a trip through South Dakota, so you may learn about the family and surroundings Grandpa Dan had as a boy your age. We look forward to spending more time with you, and would love to show you Mount Rushmore, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life. The Black Hills played a huge part in Grandpa’s life. We’d love to show it to you. Great camping, but we will probably stay at a motel. I think our camping in a tent days are over. Yours are just beginning. You have been to many National Parks in your area, which is rich in history and stories.

So Happy Birthday, Joell. We hope you have a year as incredible as you are to us, and that Grandpa gets better so we can visit again. He is feeling much better, thank you. Don’t forget how much we love you, and remember, you can text or call us, too!! Love you, Grandpa Dan and Miss Kathy.

To my regular readers, I hope you remember the $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway drawing is December 1, 2019 at NOON. Like the post, comment on the blog, you can have two entries per day during the month of November. If you haven’t read all the blogs, catch up during the Thanksgiving Days off! Read while you’re in the Black Friday shopping lines. I’ll be cozy at home, writing. Thank you for reading, and see you tomorrow!!

Messy Characters and More

After attending the Nebraska Writers Guild Fall Conference, I arrived home with a renewed sense of purpose, charged to jump headfirst into NaNoWriMo, and easily finish my novel with 50,000 words that all made sense with each other, and simply breeze into the sunset come November 30, 2019, with a deep sense of accomplishment about the novel being close to finished.

Today is November 17. I’m running behind with the number of words per day, but it’s still in the realm of completing. I could have some fantastic days coming up after doing some more research about what I’m missing in the first 40,000 words. It’ll come, I know it will.

I came across a mysterious Post It note in pink, that had scribbled diagonally across it,

“Chuck Windig – Messy Characters.” I’m assuming that was an author and book that I really needed to seek out to get answers on how to keep going, and make sure the characters are completely fleshed out.

I’m completely wrong about what is written there. Why can’t I remember why this is so important to my destiny? My story? My characters? Googling proved I spelled Mr. Windig’s name wrong. It is really Chuck Wendig, and he is a science fiction writer. Not my genre, but ok. Why did I make this note?? Could it be because he is not only a writer but a blogger as well?? His blog is TerribleMinds. If you Google his blog and go back to November 1, 2019, (Not now, when you’re finished with reading mine, silly!) he discusses two things. Writing a novel is hard, because it’s supposed to be hard. Writing a novel is hard, because it has to be done your way. Wow. This blog hadn’t yet been written when I jotted this down. And now, I’m finding something that is speaking volumes to me.

How did this happen?? Is it yet another sign that I really do have a story to tell?? Yes, yes it is. I cannot waver and say, “Well, I’m not sure,” because I have to be sure. I have to be sure this is very hard, it will probably get much harder before it gets easier, and I haven’t even begun to see hard work yet. And I have to be mentally ready for it.

It is hard. It is hard because I have a story I want to tell. It will be a story realistic in as much as I haven’t sanitized anything, left uncomfortable parts out, or failed to tell the complete truth about a situation because I didn’t want to have to explain where that idea came from. It’s coming from life. It’s coming from observations from life for a period of sixty seven years. That’s a long time, really. And to find each and every just right word to tell that story is hard. Somedays it flows, somedays it’s clogged up worse than an old septic tank. (That’s all I could come up with folks, sorry!)

The days you can coax the words and they flow endlessly are the days your energy level goes through the roof and you feel great. Nine out of ten times, this one day of brilliance is followed by one to ten of clogged up words, gelling together to make a tremendous mess if they ever are broken apart and allowed to flow, unfettered, into the great beyond. Lots of cleanup is required after that, and usually, it all goes in the sewer. Sorry, that’s the fact, the reality of writing. Not as glamorous as it sounds. And I haven’t even gotten near the hard part yet.

So now that I discovered how a note to look Mr. Wendig up ended with my finding him giving me some great advice that he hadn’t written yet when I jotted his name down, I will say good day for now and go on to writing more on my book. After all, I have been told it will be hard because it’s my own. And it will be.

Thank you so much for reading today. Make sure to comment in the blog and like to have your name entered in my NaNoWriMo Giveaway. I will draw on December 1, 2019 to give away a $50 Visa Gift Card. Comment, like blogs and you can have two entries a day! That makes 60 free chances in all, just for reading, commenting, and liking. Easy enough.

VA Hospital, Parking, and More

It’s 10:17 am on a beautiful, sunny morning. I’m currently waiting for Dan (Babe) after a check in with his research team for the study he is participating in. It’s been awhile since I’ve been down here, and wow, has it changed.

Isn’t there always chaos when any entity attempts to change the configuration of their campus, grounds, territory, or property. What do you view as the most impacted service during the chaos?

I believe it is parking. No matter what, I believe parking is impacted the most. The VA Hospital tries quite hard, providing shuttles to ride. So many of these veterans have conditions that prohibit them from walking far. And face it, I’d venture to say most of the patients here have at least one disability. You must arrive early to attempt a spot in the Handicapped Lot. The rest of the day, you get one by dumb luck.

The Visitor/Patient Lot is a terrifying place. Just observing here for the past 30 minutes, I know my life will be on the line backing out of this parking place. Cars all gather, each vying for the spot. Pedestrians are everywhere, not really looking for a car backing up much less out of said parking spot.

I see the parking for construction workers is close to their worksite, a luxury never afforded by the hospital workers. I wonder what would happen if someone were to park in the “Hard Hat Area”. Might the earth swallow them up? You never know.

When I worked at Mutual of Omaha, their lack of parking was well known. As their employment level dropped along with their insurance business, it became routine for a new employee to be assigned a parking area on the first day. In my time, it took five to seven years to creep up the list. Many folks would not work these that long.

The Midwest may be different from New York City or Los Angeles as far as vehicles go, but I’d like to hope we are “Nebraska Nice” with how we deal with driving during construction while parking is chaotic.

Parking will be disrupted with all the people out Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping too. Please stop and think about being kind and cooperative while you are out on extra trips during the next month or so. It will help things go a lot smoother. If we are all thinking only of ourselves, there will be much more of a chance for tempers to flare, accidents to happen, and failure on our part to remember the reason for the season.

Give a like, make a comment in WordPress, and I’ll put your name in my drawing for the $50 Visa Gift Card. Thanks so much for reading, and make sure you come back tomorrow. I’ll be right here.

Veteran’s Day, 2019

Today is a day to thank all of our veterans for their service. All who served honorably deserve for us to show gratitude. Not just for today, but for every day we live with the freedoms we enjoy. No matter what, we need to be respectful of them and what they have done for us, and for our freedoms.

I read a Facebook post earlier that makes me angry. In West Virginia, there was to be a “21 gun salute”, and the administration cancelled it due to the fact that “loud noises scare their students,” and “the administration felt it was inappropriate due to the amount of gun violence in America. “

I commented, telling them from what I understand a “21 Gun Salute” is only for honoring a national flag, the soverign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President, and President-elect of our great nation.

It is often mistaken at a Veteran’s funeral that they have a “21 Gun Salute.” Three volleys is what they receive. There could be seven Honor Guard people to shoot. That adds up to twenty one, but it is still three volleys. If there are only three Honor Guard people to shoot, it is not a 9 gun salute, it is still three volleys. It’s a common mistake that is present in America. Please, let’s help correct that error by teaching each other what it is, and what it means. God Bless our Veterans, and God Bless America.

I also mentioned that perhaps people need to really learn the real story of our history. All of it. You cannot sanitize the Holocaust. You cannot sanitize the early days of slavery. You cannot sanitize the unrest in the country during the 1960’s. It was all messy, brutal, and disrespectful to the races and religions involved, and to the American people, whom I would still like to believe are good and just. We need to regain our sense of unity and what is right. Politics aside, every veteran deserves our respect and thanks. Please do your part to make them know we are grateful for their sacrifices.

Maybe as children we learned too much about the harsh things in the world. We Boomers grew up with a sense of duty, and history was important for us to learn. Now I don’t remember all those dates the teachers made us memorize, but I do know why WWI started. And WWII. Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan, etc., etc., etc., Rather than leave these countries to fend for themselves, we became involved. We wanted to share our great nation’s governing with other parts of the world. Dictatorship cannot allow people to life a free life. Socialism also does not allow people to lead a free life. We are simply trying to help these countries by helping demonstrate what is right. I do not believe we should be demonized for trying.

Proud to be an American
All the men in the Jewell Family. Thomas Jewell Sr was Grandpa, Jr was my dad, Joseph and Robert were his brothers.

My grandmother always had an 8 x 10 or larger of the portrait each enlistee or draftee has taken when they finish boot camp hanging in her living room. They stayed up the entire time she ived there, and they were returned to each son’s family when her house was sold. My father had already passed away by then.

We Cannot Thank You Enough!
This was my father at the tender age of 19.
Every Generation of Soldiers has the Next Generation to Follow

The photograph above reminds me of the Honor Guard at Benson VFW Post 2503. They are all getting on in years, yet still continue to do over a hundred funerals a year. They are dwindling in numbers. Younger members work during the week and often spend weekends with family on weekends. It is a concern. If you have served in war time in a foreign country and would like to join, please join us at Post 2503, 90th and Military in Omaha, NE. We have a plane in the parking lot.

Thank you for reading. Comment on how you have been aware of Veterans Day in the past and how you honor it in the present. Please like this post, the blog in general, follow me. I am giving away a $50 Visa Gift Card to one lucky winner. You can have two entries per DAY!!

One, like the post. Two, like and follow the blog. There will be ample opportunity for you to enter. In fact, go back and read all the posts for November, and you can be entered twice for each entry you read, like, comment on. A person could have sixty chances! Thank you again. More on NaNoWriMo tomorrow.

Love my Veterans

What I remember about Veterans Day as a kid was about the Armistice which ended WWI. From Wikipedia:

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice signed at Le Francport near Compi├Ęgne that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. Previous armistices had been agreed with Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Once I started high school in the fall 1966, Father Vernon announced a moment of silence, at 11:11 am, on 11/11, and every classroom was quiet. We understood what it all meant. And we respected it.

Now, in present times, we have a kid in You Tube saying kids shouldn’t know about WWII. It’s too traumatic. Life is traumatic at times. Everyone needs to learn to deal with it. Period. Yes, even little kids. Life isn’t touchy-feely. It will eat you up and spit you out if you do not know to cope with the harsh parts of it.

As the Vietnam War dragged on, I was appalled at how the veterans were treated. It was very wrong. This era may have been when as a society, we began to consider respect a thing of the past. I believe we quit having respect for those who keep us free, those who serve and protect as first responders, and those who are elected to lead our great nation. Can you disagree?? Yes, and you should do it respectfully.

We have many veterans my extended family. My dad and his three brothers all served. A few years ago, I purchased memorial bricks to be placed around the flagpole at the Benson VFW Post 2503.

From the far right, my Grandfather, Father, and two Uncles. The family served in WWI, WWII, and Korea. Proud of them all.

A few years ago, I petitioned the Army to receive my dad’s medals. Two Bronze Stars. We never knew.

Veterans Day isn’t about free meals, it isn’t about a sale at JC Penney or Nebraska Furniture Mart. It is about those who
who served. Those who came home and those who did not. Those who came home and settled into mundane lives, all the while thanking their God that they returned home. Those who returned home but are still fighting a worse war because it is a war within themselves.

The Band of Brothers and Sisters extends through all branches, none are omitted. The example of their brotherhood is amazing. They are always there for each other. When you have entrusted your life to another soldier, you can say you are comrades, brothers in arms.

God Bless all of you. And may God continue to bless America. What do you think of on Veterans Day? Leave a comment, like the blog post and my site, and you will be entered to win a $50 Visa Gift Card. Drawing on December 1, 2019. Thank you for reading and see you tomorrow!